Thursday, 20 March 2014

Les Cousins Karlsoon (T.1) - Espions et fantômes par Katarine Mazetti

<< Elles ne parlent pas la même langue mais leurs sourires signifient qu’elles espèrent avoir bientôt l’occasion de se revoir>>

Les cousins karlsson – espions et fantômes par Katarine Mazetti est un livre sur quatre cousins qui ont entre 9 et 12 ans et vont passer l’été chez leur tante. Ils n’ont pas de contraintes ; Frida, leur tante, a donné toute liberté aux cousins. Mais, ils ne sont pas les seuls habitants de l’île et ils vont enquêter sur l’identité de ces mystérieux visiteurs.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Girl in the Steel Corset (#1 The Steampunk Chronicles) by Kady Cross

"No person was entirely good or entirely evil- one side could not exist without the other." Chapter 7

The Girl in the Steel Corset is about a 16 year old girl, Finley Jayne, with a mysterious side to her. Set in 1897, being different wasn't generally accepted in society. Finley has a 'thing' inside of her, something that gives her strength and aggression when she is in danger. Soon, she finds other people each with their own power. Together they try to find 'The Machinist' - the mastermind behind several crimes. All of his crimes seem to be random and  unconnected to each other, but there's one similarity- all of the crimes are done by automatons. And they aren't as random as they seem... all the small crimes are leading into something huge and catastrophic. 

When I first saw the cover book, I already thought it was the style of book I'd enjoy. I know... you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but my assumptions of the book were mostly correct. At first glance, I predicted it would be both historical and romantic. After flipping to the first page, I saw that my first guess was right- it was set in the past. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

“He smiled the most exquisite smile, veiled by memory, tinged by dreams.” 

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf is one of the most well known modernist books. The novel was written in a stream-of-consciousness style and it was set in three parts and the plot can be really quickly summed up with:

The Window: Mrs. and Mr. Ramsay with their children and guests spending time in their Scottish holiday home. Six-year-old James wants to go the lighthouse, his mother agrees but Mr. Ramsay states that the weather is not good enough for the boat journey. One of the guests, Lily Briscoe is painting. Paul Rayley and Minta Doyle (two guests) get engaged.
Time Passes: World War 1 breaks out and the house is left abandoned. Everyone dies... Jokes – it just felt like that. Mrs. Ramsay died suddenly, Andrew Ramsay (oldest son) dies in battle and Prue (daughter) dies after giving birth. (Note: the deaths are all told in brackets)
The Lighthouse: Mr. Ramsay with his children (those that are still alive) and two of his guests decide to go back to the house. Mr. Ramsay makes his children go with him to the Lighthouse. Lily goes back to painting and this time manages to achieve her vision.

Personally, the summary that I just gave was exactly what a whole 227 page novel spent describing. But, if you’ve read my review on Mrs. Dalloway, my lack of enthusiasm for Virginia Woolf wouldn’t be surprising. For me, I need a plot that I can invest myself in. However, one thing that I must give to Woolf is her sense of rhythm, like the repetitive and familiar lives of the Ramsays as the waves come and go in their island. Only when I went back to the introduction written by Hermione Lee in 1991 (it was included in the version I borrowed) that I realised how much of a difference her editing and style really made. Read the manuscript version to see for yourself: